Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Does Google Search It and Differently?

I don't have an answer, just an observation I stumbled upon today.

I searched for "T M Trautvetter" at Google and received the results below:
One entry in the Clewiston News at the University of Florida's Newspaper collection.

I went to the University's site directly to search directly for "trautvetter," hoping to get additional results. Interesting thing was that I didn't get this result--just two others.

I don't have an immediate answer. I searched for a few OCR variants of Trautvetter, but none of those located it either.

Nearer My Search to Thee

In my own personal research, I use the newspaper archive at the Quincy, Illinois Public Library website. One of the search operators is "near" which allows me to specify how close my search terms need to be. If the search terms are ones that form a name, they need to be within a few words of each other.

The site allows me to search entering the <NEAR/3>, where the search term before and after the near have to be within 3 words of each other. The search for "James <NEAR/3> Rampley" (without the quotes) would most likely find all references to James Rampley, James R. Rampley, James Riley Rampley, Rampley James," etc.

Sites that don't have firstname lastname searches may allow the use of the "near" operator. Check out the help or FAQ of the site you are using for more information.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Living Residences in Obituaries With Keyword Searches

Whether you are searching modern obituaries at fee-based sites such as Genealogy Bank or at's obituary collection, try just keyword searches for names (or just last name) and the name of the city where they resided at the time their relative died.

I've found several this way--free obituary sites likely allow for keyword searches as well.

My "Daily" Blogs

For those who were not aware, I have three daily blogs:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Online Yearbooks Are Not Just About Students recently updated its Yearbook CollectionRemember that you won't only find teachers and students in these publications, you may find advertisements as well. So when searching these materials keep yourself open to the fact that your ancestor might have placed an advertisement in one of these publications. Sometimes ads contain good genealogical clues as well.  

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Look for the Living in Obituaries

Consider searching for the names of people you know are living in obituaries. A search for my parents (both living) in the current obituaries at Genealogy Bank resulted in two hits--my grandfather's obituary and my uncle's obituary. It wasn't anything I didn't already have, but it got me thinking that I could search for living people in the text of obituaries, hoping to find them listed as survivors.
These searches were performed as keyword searches--not in the names of the deceased.
At's obituary collection, make certain you have the "exact" box checked to get matches that include all the names you enter as keywords.

Back to School Casefile Clues offer 52 for 12

Sunday we're offering a year of my weekly newsletter Casefile Clues for $12. Samples can be downloaded as PDF files here:

Feel free to let others know about the offer--this blog post will be pulled late Sunday night--don't wait. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Not Every Day Anymore...

We're not changing our name (Genealogy Search Tip of the Day), but we are going non-daily as mentioned earlier to some subscribers.

I hate to "make" a tip just to have one for each and every day. So when something runs across my screen, my desk, or my mind that seems like a good tip--we'll put it here. Consequently there will be days when there isn't a tip.

But I don't want to "create" tips just because I HAVE to have one for that day.

Feel free to spread the news about Search Tip of the Day to others who may be interested.


Google Alert for that Address

If your ancestor was a city dweller, consider adding their street address to your set of Google alerts in your account at

Be a nice way to discover the house when it comes for sale, etc. and maybe increase the chance you get pictures.

This blog post mentions a newspaper article that gave me an address and when I googled it, I discovered the home was for sale, price, date built, pictures, etc.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Places at

A quick reminder for those who subscribe to and are searching based upon European locations.

My search of the 1880 census using Germany as a place of birth did not pick up individuals who listed Hanover as their place of birth. You have to be careful using European places of birth and frankly, trial and error is advised as sometimes what works today does not necessarily work tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sunday, August 14, 2011's Use of the SSDI

Users of's service to "integrate" Ancestry's data into their trees will want to remember that (at least as this post was written), classifies what is the "last residence" information on the SSDI as the "place of death" in your online tree.

Just to make you aware.

Here's a longer blog post about it .

Saturday, August 6, 2011

If You "Know" the County on a Census

If you are 99% certain of the county where someone lived in a census, consider searches without the first name. Unless the name is very common, I've taken to leaving the first name out--especially after it took me forever to find Harvey Butler written in 1850 as Hervey.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Smihts in That Database?

Have you considered the possibility of transposition errors when searching that online database? Is there any chance that Smith was entered as Smiht?